BYOB restaurants can save you money on a night out

Friday, July 25, 2014
BYOB restaurants can save you money on night out
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Many don't advertise, but with a little help, we found the best BYOB restaurants in town.

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Houston is a town full of foodies, but dinner, drinks, and dessert can get expensive. One big way to cut your bill is to bring your own beverage!

BYOB deals aren't always advertised, but wine drinkers know that it can quickly add up.

"The mark up on bottles of wine can be 50, 75, 100 percent markup," said Yelp's Farrah Akhtar.

Yelp Houston has compiled a list of some of Yelp reviewers' best BYOB business, starting with Luigi's Pizzeria in Midtown.

"At Luigi's there is no cork fee, so you can bring that $20 bottle of wine, or that case of beer, and they will open up that for you," Akhtar said.

The owners at Luigi's say they prefer to focus on their homemade brick oven pizza that is made to order and their fresh ingredients rather than selling alcohol.

"You can make it your own give it your own atmosphere and you are not restricted to a menu of items and you can have that backyard experience here," said Keller Ward of Luigi's Pizzeria.

Another casual dining spot with no cork fee is Caf Pita off Westheimer. There you can enjoy Bosnian cuisine with your own adult beverage for no extra fee. There is also live entertainment Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m.

Andes Caf in the Warehouse District is popular for BYOB even though it has a $7 corkage fee. But don't let that turn you off! Akhtar says you should still come out ahead.

"And you don't have to worry about paying at the restaurant 10, 15, 20 percent tip on top of that," Akhtar said.

If you are looking to splurge on dinner and have wine without the big upcharge at fine dining restaurants, Underbelly is the place! They allow you to bring your own wine for a $15 corkage fee, and it includes up to three bottles.

"It's not just limited to cafes, pizzerias and sandwich shops. You can also enjoy fine exquisite dinner at an intimate restaurant and BYOB as well," Akhtar said.

Bistro de Amis in Rice Village is another good BYOB option. The fine dining French restaurant charges a $10 corkage fee per bottle.

If you're heading out to a BYOB restaurant, there is something to keep in mind.

"I would always recommend that you go call before you go, because BYOB policy can change from month to month. Sometimes a business may obtain their beer and wine license, so always call before you go and ask about a corkage fee," Akhtar said.

It's not just restaurants that offer BYOB. Nail salons and spas are doing it too, you just have to ask.

Also, the Miller Outdoor Theatre allows BYOB, but just no glass on the lawn.